The CREATE Program includes 70 projects to improve rail infrastructure and its impact on neighborhoods and communities in the Chicago region.
These projects mean reduced traffic delays, shorter commute times, better air quality and increased traffic safety, along with more jobs and greater economic opportunity. These outcomes benefit everyone – but are particularly important to the communities and neighborhoods through which freight trains pass. Many of these communities have endured decades of disinvestment, low private investment and few major infrastructure projects.
CREATE projects strive to address social and economic equity at the same time as making needed transportation improvements. In the past, large freight rail projects have generated adverse community impacts on some of our region’s most vulnerable communities. The CREATE Program is reversing that trend by implementing improvements to our freight rail system that result in safety and quality of life benefits to the local communities most impacted by their presence. Our work in communities such as Englewood and Ashburn on Chicago’s South Side and Pullman and Riverdale on Chicago’s far South Side, represent significant investments in infrastructure and safety on railways and where roads and railways intersect.
CREATE projects improve freight rail operations in the Chicago area as well as commuter and intercity passenger rail service, ease highway congestion, enhance safety and improve air quality for many years to come. The projects also provide economic opportunity for local businesses including certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs). We make concerted and sustained efforts to support DBEs in doing business with the CREATE Program. Our partners are committed to robust DBE participation on CREATE projects, and we proactively brief DBE contractor associations and develop right-sized work packages for DBE companies. Contractors, consultants and suppliers can sign up to receive notifications of open bids, informational meetings and upcoming opportunities.
Other initiatives designed to provide equitable access opportunities with the CREATE Program include:
across the Chicago region
of national and regional significance
generated in economic benefits
estimated job years created